Horseman, The (Blu-ray / DVD)
Reviewed by Uncle Creepy
Starring Peter Marshall, Caroline Marohasy, Brad McMurray, Evert McQueen, Christopher H. Sommers
Directed by Steven Kastrissios
Distributed by Screen Media Films
In case you are wondering, no, this is not the steaming Platinum Dunes turd Horsemen, nor does it have anything at all to do with that mess of a movie. Director Steven Kastrissios' Aussie film is a different beast altogether, and believe me when I tell you it's packing a whole lot of bite. Originally released in 2008, it has taken this movie around two years to see its Stateside release, and much like the film, it is a winner.
The Horseman poses a very simple question ... How far would you go for revenge? If you are Christian (Marshall), the father of a daughter who recently passed on after a horrific porn shoot, there are no lengths too far. This is the story of one man's twisted quest for revenge and redemption that has a few twists and turns strewn along its path. To delve a bit deeper into the plot is to also spoil things so we'll avoid the details for now. All you need to know is this guy is super-pissed off, has the addresses of every son of a bitch involved in his little girl's demise, and is armed with a toolbox, insecticide, and one mean claw hammer.
That being said, The Horseman, while a powerful film in and of itself, doesn't really convey itself as much of a horror flick. In fact, it's more of a revenge thriller/drama. If you're looking for some cheap thrills, slasher fun, or any sort of supernatural overtones, you're officially barking up the wrong tree. What we have here is a visceral little tale that's as hard to watch as it is to try and take your eyes off the screen. Peter Marshall's performance is white hot, the tension as heavy and overbearing as it comes, and the message as plain as can be: Violence just begets violence, and that's never a good thing ... no matter how briefly satisfying. For a more in-depth review of the film itself, check out my partner in crime Paul McCannibal's The Horseman review here.
We all know that the Blu-ray release looks and sounds better than its standard definition DVD cousin, but holy cow are DVD owners getting the short end of the stick this time around.
The Blu-ray is home to a host of different features, including two commentary tracks, both of which are a really fun listen (see below for participant listing); your standard making-of featurette; the original short film that was the inspiration for this feature film with optional commentary; several deleted scenes, each with optional commentary; and some cast and crew interviews. Quite the haul, huh? Unfortunately DVD owners are only getting the commentaries. That's it. Man, the times they are a-changing.
If you're a fan of the revenge thriller, then, brother, this film delivers and then some. Those of you in the market for horror in its more standardized form will be pretty much out of luck here. Still, The Horseman is a thought-provoking and harrowing experience that you'll probably end up talking about long after the credits have rolled. Straight horror or not, this one is well worth the watch!
4 out of 5
3 1/2 out of 5